Training Coordinator Jenny Cryans tells us about the wide range of SELECT courses that are available on this year’s timetable
Hello Jenny. How many SELECT training courses are now available?
We now have more than 20 different courses, covering topics such as BS 7671, health and safety, technical training, Scottish building standards and management training.
Any new courses for 2018?
We’re preparing to launch a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Customised Award in Electrical Safety, which is a two-and-a-half day course for small businesses that covers regulations, risk assessment and environmental and waste management. We’re also planning a half-day energy efficiency course that will include smart controls, battery storage and renewable energy, to help contractors advise householders on saving energy. We hope to run an electric vehicle charging point installation and maintenance course too. There’s been a growing demand for electric vehicle training, so we want to do something.
What about the 18th Edition?
When it’s published on 1 July, all our BS 7671 training courses will need to be updated to reflect any changes. We’ll then have to implement the information and get the courses up and running before it actually comes into effect on 1 January. It’s going to be a big change but we’ve been getting enquiries about it for over a year. As soon as people hear that there’s going to be a change in regulations they start getting itchy feet! For Members, we’ll probably do a short seminar at the end of the year to provide a bit more information and detail, along with an attendance certificate.
What’s the benefit of the courses?
We know it can be difficult to take time away from work so we try and make the courses flexible, so they’re practical and fit in with people’s schedules. Most are only one-day with an online part that people can do in their own time. They’re also good value for money as we try to keep the costs low for Members.
What are the most popular topics?
BS 7671 definitely, followed by health and safety and Scottish building standards. For BS 7671, we offer four different courses – one for regulations, two for inspection and testing, and a more advanced one that includes inspection and testing, the regulations and cable calculations.
And what’s the feedback like?
Very positive. We continually review things to try and improve. So over the years we’ve introduced more interaction, such as coursework books with discussion involved. The trainers always get good feedback as well, and people seems to like the in-depth detail and the practical examples they use.
I think our team’s experience and electrical background also helps; people recognise that they’ve done these jobs in real life and really know their stuff, so we can really offer a practical grounding.
As well the standard courses, what other training do you offer?
Our in-house training is very popular as it means people further afield don’t have to come to the Walled Garden. For example, last year we did quite a lot of safe isolation and electrical awareness courses for one of our bigger member companies. We delivered training across Scotland throughout the year for them, and it was definitely worthwhile as it saved them travel time. It works the other way too – if a company is based in Edinburgh, they can use our facilities for in-house training at no extra cost.
So what does the future hold?
The new courses are part of our ongoing development programme, which aims to continually improve our training. So we’re basically looking at the demands and responding proactively to what is new in the industry, keeping it fresh and improving all the time. If there’s a demand for something, then we’re also more than happy to see what we can do. Things like electric vehicles and energy efficiency are getting more popular so we’re responding accordingly to try and keep ahead of everything.
How can people find out more?
Drop me a line or give me a call and we can discuss the courses in more detail. The SELECT website is also really informative – there’s a wee training section that has course synopses, dates and everything else we offer.